When you turn in my driveway the first thing you'll notice are the Dogwoods. They are especially white this year, and dot the woods all through the property.
If you take a walk in my woods you will see a lot more wild azaleas than I have noticed before. I thought I had two or three, but they number more than 30, and are in a couple of different spots. Some are taller than I am, and some are just babies. We cleared underbrush last year, and I think that's helping them bloom. I spent the weekend clearing out around the newly discovered azaleas, so the show should be even better next year. The white azaleas are are first to bloom, and the pink ones are just starting to open up.
Also in the woods is a thicket of Carolina Sweet Shrubs/ Allspice. Seriously, a thicket. Most range 4'-5' tall, with a few closer to 6' or 7'. They have really cool blooms, and I transplanted a few small plants near the house. They are pretty much in my ideal category of plants - plants that thrived on their own through 20+ years of neglect.
When you get to my house you will notice that the yard is covered in little purple flowers called Blue Its. I don't mow my grass very often, so these flowers have really taken off and spread since I've lived here. I love them.
I have later blooming daffodils blooming in scattered spots around the yard and woods. I love how haphazard their placement is (before my time here).
The hellebores are still going strong, and a few of the earlier blooms have started to go to seed. Looks like I will have more baby hellebores next year.
The Bird's Foot Voilets (Viola Pedata) are really happy this year. I have 4 that come up in my kitchen garden, and they seem to be growing some this year.
I also have this giant bush/small tree that was must have been planted by my great grandmother 30-50 years ago. It has a huge trunk, and arching branches that have taken over a walkway. It is a survivor, but I don't remember it blooming since I've been here. I cleared out some small trees around it last fall, and it's got a few blooms. It's not very showy, it's hard to see the white trumpeted flowers against the silver leaves, but the bees are happy.
The bees are also happy with the spiderwart and this purple ground cover that everyone loves, but I kind of hate. It's pretty when it blooms, but the other 11 months out of the year I think it looks awful in my driveway. I'm sure it is nice in the right setting, but my driveway is not it.
Moving on to my oh-so-cleverly-named 'Shade Garden', this is one of the areas where I said "I will have flowers damn it". It's undergone a small transformation, moving the wild huckleberries, a holly tree, and Hearts-A-Bursting back from the one thing of interest, the azalea. And man the azalea is happy now. I don't think it's received much attention since it was planted, so it is thrilled to have two years of fertilizer, pine mulch, and one year of extra watering under its belt. It's like the plant version of spa treatment.
This bed is now home to two of my seven $2 alazeas. The pink ones have been re-potted and are blooming, and the two purple ones in the ground are right behind the pink one above. I haven't decided where the other 5 will go, but I have a few ideas. Side note, I'm not sure when 'hot pink' became 'pink', but these pink azaleas look nothing like my mom's pastel pink ones.
There is also a columbine from last year that is about to bloom.
A few weeks ago I picked up some plants from family, and the wild geraniums and trillium found homes in the shade garden. They look pretty happy so far.
I also picked up a native columbine that is blooming in the also-cleverly-named 'Mini Shade Garden'. It sits behind a group of Lily of the Valley, that just put out it's first flowers yesterday.
Let's see, what else. The vica minor is still going strong, and I have a little bit of thrift that survived an accidental roundup treatment when I first moved in and was tackling some nasty ivy in a rock wall. The Little Brown Jugs have jugs, and the violets I got from family are doing nicely in the cracks of my rock walkway, even though it's mostly clay. I know most people think they are weeds, but I like them, and these are really unique.
So look, FLOWERS!! It's a really nice start to having established gardens, and the project for this week is digging out 3 old beds around the house so I can plant some hostas, bloodroot, and my new roses, and clearing 2 new paths in the woods. Not overly ambitious at all. :)
This post is part of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Check it out!!